Child Abuse

Three hyper children
CK, Carl, Carlo, Carlito / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/2FGBh5

Improving parenting skills can help reduce risks for children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. That's according to research from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

From 2011 to 2016, more than 120 children died in North Carolina within a year of their cases being referred to social services, according to a new investigative series by The Fayetteville Observer. 

a boy hiding his face
Suzanne Tucker / Courtesy of the Children's Home Society of North Carolina

Social Services agencies in North Carolina investigated more than 121,000 cases of child abuse and neglect across the state over the past year. That's according to data from the School of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill.

A new state law requires more extensive background checks for people working with children.

In years past employees at day care centers could start working with children before a background check was complete. Anna Carter is with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Anna Carter: "What this law change did was, it changes it to be a pre-service requirement for when a new staff is hired. So before you work with children it would have to be completed."

State children's advocates say statistics are showing a rise in reports of child abuse cases.

Organizations that track these cases say results can be deadly if left uninvestigated. President of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina Rosie Allen Ryan said at one point there were 125 thousand reported cases annually in the state.

Rosie Allen Ryan: "And then this past set of data that we have shows an increase up to 129-thousand."

Community groups across North Carolina are holding classes this week designed to teach adults how to recognize when someone is sexually abusing a child. The issue has gotten more attention since a former football coach at Penn State was accused of sexually abusing boys over several years. More than 80 YMCA and health care facilities in North Carolina have sought the help of a program called “Darkness to Light.” Program CEO Jolie Logan says the classes teach adults warning signs to look for when they suspect child sex abuse.